How to Hire A Qualified Personal Trainer

Table of Contents

In this day and age, just about anyone can obtain a personal training certificate in a matter of a weekend.  What sets a qualified personal trainer or health coach apart from the rest and how can you easily choose the right one for you? This article will help you “Get Clear” on what questions to ask yourself when hiring your next personal trainer, and most importantly, how to explain to them exactly what you want.

How to pick your qualified personal trainer.

First and foremost, just because someone looks like they are in good shape, doesn’t mean that they are a great personal trainer.  Oh the horror stories I have seen and heard about people who have hired their fitness professional from a reputable gym to be left feeling defeated emotionally, physically and psychologically. How will you know if your trainer is the right fit for you?

Here Are The Top 9 Qualities To Look For In A Qualified Personal Trainer that may help you take the guess-work out of your decision.

  • They ask a lot of questions and they keep the focus on you.
  • They perform a complete Health Screening and Fitness Assessment before writing your program.
  • They write a plan of action for you and give you the steps to easily achieve your goals, in a simple way.
  • They explain exactly why you are doing your program the way you are.
  • They clearly explain each exercise they have chosen for you, why they are doing them, and how they will benefit you.
  • They quickly modify an exercise on the spot if it’s not working for you at that time.
  • They know how and when to thoroughly progress you.
  • They tailor your program specifically to fit your needs.
  • They are up to date with all the current trends.

Getting clear on your weight loss and fitness goal.

Even the best personal trainer can’t help you, if you don’t know what you want.  Before stepping foot in a gym or picking up that phone, ask yourself, what is my goal?

  • Do I want to lose weight? If so how much?
  • Do I want to gain muscle?
  • Do I want to feel healthy?

What type of motivation style works for you?

Next, you may want to get clear on the training style that works for you.  If you are just starting out after being sedentary for a while, or have just had a baby, then a boot camp style class or military style fitness instructor may not be the right fit for you right now, at this time. I have had clients come to me injured after taking a boot camp class.  Clearly that wasn’t the way to start after being stagnant for a while. If you don’t know exactly what you want, then find someone who will listen to your needs and who will be patient enough to help you come up with your very own goals together.  Just make sure that your goal feels right for you.

In addition, remember you are going to be spending a lot of time with your newfound friend.  What type of person do you want to spend your precious time with?  What type of motivation style works best for you and your personality?  Are you the type of person who works best with an encouraging coach, or do you need a swift kick in the behind to get you moving? Do you work better with males or females?

Here are some questions you can ask that may help you.

  • Are they qualified?  What are their credentials and how long have they had them? If you are searching for a qualified personal trainer it’s best if you hire someone who has had at least 10,000 hours of experience behind them, especially if they will be working with someone who has injuries.
  • Are they patient?
  • Do they listen to you and your needs?
  • Do they communicate in a way that you can clearly understand?
  • What type of training would they do to prevent injuries?
  • How will they know when to progress you?
  • What training styles do they specialize in?
  • Can they give you examples or references as to how they have helped clients achieve success in the past?

Do they know how to help you with your nutrition plan?

In addition, I hear clients say that the trainer put them on a restricted diet so they could lose weight fast, but what happened was that their body felt deprived so they quickly went back to their old eating habits.


Once you have gotten clear on your goals, the next thing to do is pick up the phone. Again, don’t just assume that all trainers know what they are doing.  There are some great trainers out there, however there are a lot who don’t know what they are doing.  Even the most prestigious and reputable gyms hire brand new trainers sometimes even though they mean well and may have a great training program, they may still haven’t gathered their sea legs yet.

You are making a huge investment on yourself, and why not? Do you really want someone who is charging you top dollar to use you as his or her practice?

Until next time… let’s lighten up and have fun while we REPAIR, BUILD, & SHRED.